5 February 2018

Cameroon: Exploiting All Avenues for Emergence

The technological innovation will address the need for increased economic intelligence to fast track growth.

In his traditional annual message to young people on February 10, 2016, President Paul Biya called on youths in the country to exploit all opportunities in the digital sector. The call was to spur them to expose their tech savvy.

And since then, Cameroonian youths have been living up to the task, with their innovations getting national and international acclaim. Such is the case of 24-year-old William Elong with his first 'Made in Cameroon' drones.

The technological innovation is coming at a very crucial time in the life of the country. It is common knowledge that Cameroon plans to become an emerging country by 2035, and it is basking on multiple sectors to achieve this lofty vision. In order to reach this middle-income country status, the technological sector has a vital role to play, little wonder why government has been paying particular attention to it.

Besides offering numerous opportunities for youth who face a growing unemployment/underemployment problem in the country, the new 'Made in Cameroon' drones will directly reduce the cost of many operations by at least 50 per cent. Such money saved could be pumped into other productive sectors, thereby propelling the economy.

Before the coming of the 'Made in Cameroon' drones, conventionally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), many depended on service providers for aerial images. These images have often been sold at astronomically prices which beats the imagination. But the drone will be a fast and cost-effective solution.

The country's security forces could even use the home-made devices for surveillance and reconnaissance operations especially as the nation faces multiple security threats.

Beyond security, the drones can revolutionarise Cameroon in many ways. It can be used to capture beautiful images of the country or of cultural and sports event as Cameroon warms up to receive thousands of people from across the globe for the 2019 African Cup of Nations. Most fascinating is the fact that the drone can be used to access difficult areas.

This feature can be exploited to deliver essential drugs and relief material in areas of difficult topography in good time. The drones will also have a big role to play in monitoring wildlife reserves and forest/mining exploitation sites, urban development tracking, promoting eco-tourism, amongst others.

The technological innovation looks promising for Cameroon. Unlike in other countries where drones are considered as mere toys for children, Cameroon will exploit all its commercial uses to propel economic growth.

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